Ali Abbas Zafar’s Tiger Zinda Hai starring Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif may not be released in Pakistan, according to a report in The Express Tribune, as the movie has not received the go-ahead from the country’s film certification board and the government.
Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censor Mobasher Hasan told the Express Tribune that the movie was refused a no objection certificate because “the image of Pakistan and its law enforcement agencies has been compromised.”
Based on the censor board’s suggestion, the Pakistan’s Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage has refused to grant the NOC to the film, reported Dawn.
Tiger Zinda Hai, which will release on December 22, is the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger. In it, Khan reprises his role as an Indian agent while Kaif plays a Pakistani spy. Ek Tha Tiger, directed by Kabir Khan, was also banned in Pakistan.
Geo TV network, which was going to distribute the film, expressed disappointment at the decision. “Our preferred option was that Tiger Zinda Hai should have been allowed for import, presented to censor board, and if any objectionable material was found against the interests of Pakistan/ Islam, exhibition of the film shouldn’t have been allowed then,” Sulaiman S Lalani, the executive director of Geo TV Network told IANS. “In fact, if there was any thing against the national interests of Pakistan in the film, we ourselves wouldn’t have sought the exhibition but this could have been done only after preview of the film.”
Lal said that his network was verbally informed that the Ministry had refused a no-objection certificate for import of the film. No reasons were assigned, he added.
When Ek Tha Tiger was banned in Pakistan in 2012, the vice-chairman of the country’s censor board had said the movie “hit at Pakistan’s security agencies and was problematic for public screening in Pakistan.”
“We have strict criteria due to which films that have themes that touch on anti-terrorism and are against Pakistan’s national institutions or security agencies ultimately have to be censored because they are against national interest,” he had said at the time.